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Foreign Journalists Witnessed Tiger Released into the Wild

31 May 2022
Иностранные журналисты увидели уникальную операцию по выпуску тигра в дикую природу

As part of the preparation for the 2nd International Tiger Forum, the Roscongress Foundation and the Amur Tiger Centre organized a press tour to the Russian Far East for foreign journalists. The event aimed to report on the work of Russian tiger conservationists and to draw international attention to wildlife conservation and the upcoming Forum.

Participants in the press tour included media representatives from Vietnam, China, and Saudi Arabia.

The most interesting and exciting part of the tour programme was watching the release of the tiger into the wild after rehabilitation.

Aleksey Surovy, Deputy Minister of Forestry and Hunting of Primorye Territory, shared the story of the released tiger. It is a confrontational animal, who used to get to populated areas and scare local residents. Therefore, wildlife specialists decided to catch the tiger and determine the reason for its atypical behaviour. It turned out that it had a damaged paw and a broken tooth. The animal was taken to a rehabilitation centre, where it was given proper treatment: the paw was stitched up and the broken tusk was removed. After his recovery the tiger was to be returned to his home taiga. «When selecting a place for release, we looked into the following factors: it needed to be remote from residential areas and have enough food and no other male tigers around,» explained Alexey Surovy.

General Director of the Amur Tiger Centre Sergey Aramilev noted the importance of protecting both the tiger and its habitat: «Tiger is the top of the trophic pyramid and the key indicator of the Far East ecosystem status. It is much easier to identify their number and presence in a territory, unlike, for example, birds or boars. In other words, if a tiger is present in a territory, its nature is in good shape. If tigers are gone or their number has gone down significantly, it is a signal of this area going through problems that require immediate resolution. These problems do not only concern tigers, but the whole ecosystem in general,» said Sergey Aramilev.

Russian specialists have gained unique experience in the rehabilitation and reintroduction of Amur tigers. So far, the nameless tiger has become the 14th predator to be returned to the wild since 2013 with the support of the Amur Tiger Centre.

Animals are removed from their natural habitat due to injuries, trauma, diseases and other factors that either pose a threat to their own lives or have the potential for conflict situations: entries into populated areas, attacks on farm and domestic animals.

If an animal is sick, it is treated. If it is emaciated, it is nourished. During rehabilitation, it is taught to hunt on its own, to avoid humans and to be wary of signs of human activity. If it passes its final exams, it is returned to the wild.

The next item on the press tour was a visit to the headquarters of Primorye Territory Hunt Control in Ussuriysk. The journalists were shown the monitoring system, which is used to tracks of both the machinery and the tigers, which have been returned to the wild after rehabilitation. This is possible thanks to the signal received from their satellite collars. These collars are put on each tiger in the rehabilitation centre before their release, so that the data can be used to get an understanding of how the animal is adapting to life in the wild.

The journalists were also shown a fleet of specialized vehicles and told about the current protection system of the Amur tiger, its food resources and habitat in Russia.

During the press tour, the Amur Tiger Centre helped organize a tour of Vladivostok’s tiger attractions for the journalists. It started with the tiger statue at the city limits. The press tour participants then explored the tiger graffiti on Chkalov Street and at the Twin Cities Park, the tiger statues near the Mariinsky Theatre and the Okean Cinema, the Tsesarevich Arch and Korabelnaya Quay (the places associated with the first mentions of tigers by Vladivostok port builders), Tigrovaya Street and Tigrovaya Hill, as well as other sites.

Foreign journalists also visited Primorye Safari Park. There they had the opportunity to see the famous tiger called Amur and tigresses called Taiga and Ussuri. They got to see two young tigers, whose sex will be determined by specialists during the next scheduled check-up. In addition to tigers, the journalists saw animals that form the tiger’s food chain (Manchurian wapiti, spotted deer, and roe deer), the Amur leopard, and bears.

The 2nd International Tiger Forum will take place on 5 September 2022 in Vladivostok — on the opening day of the Eastern Economic Forum. For more information about the Forum, please go to